Remember the professional clothes that women wore to work in the 1980s? They were tailored suits with shoulder pads that made them look like they were heading for a career in the NFL. That was just one of the many attempts us women have made to disguise our femininity so we could be seen as part of the “boys network” and get ahead at work. Why do we do that? Why? I’ll tell you why. It’s because like it or not, we’ve been taught for so long that in order to succeed, we have to be more like men (or what we think men are) and less like women. That the things that make us female will be a hindrance instead of a help. We don’t let our bosses see us as emotional because they’ll think we’re too soft and unable to meet the challenges that come with doing our job and doing it well.
In Own It: The Power Of Women At Work, Sallie Krawcheck challenges those notions and actually encourages women to focus on the strengths that women have and gives advice on how to use those strengths to earn better respect in our professional lives. She includes research that show that companies with great diversity actually outperform companies with one type of employee. This diversity, of course, isn’t limited to male vs female but that’s the focus of her thesis so it’s understandable here. And while the book is about female power, it is important to note that this is not a male-bashing write-up. The focus is not on excluding men, it is on including women. Six things Sallie says us women have going for us in the workplace:
- women are risk averse so are more aware of the pitfalls of (bad) decisions before companies make them
- women think big picture so are better at managing complexity
- women are relationship focused so are better at making and maintaining connections
- women are better with long range and long term planning
- women are better students so are more flexible in careers
- women care about purpose and meaning
As a former Wall Street powerhouse and current entrepreneur, Krawcheck has a lot of experience to draw from and the book is chock full of relevant advice that she doles out with amusing anecdotes and witty comments. In the book, she tackles issues like:
- tapping into feminine intuition as a strength
- speaking up even when your views are unpopular
- asking for and accepting feedback even when it sounds like criticism
- how to network successfully
- becoming leaders
I am recommending this book to my 2017 book club members, not just the women, but also for men to understand what the woman at their job might also bring to the table so they will pull the chair out for her and welcome her.
- Author: Sallie Krawcheck
- Format: Hardcover
- Pages: 246
I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in order to complete this review but all opinions are my own.
It’ll boost my approval ratings and make it more likely that I’ll get more awesome books to review in the future.